'''William Cowper''' ( ; 26 November 1731 – 25 April 1800) was an English poet and hymnodist
. One of the most popular poets of his time, Cowper changed the direction of 18th century nature poetry by writing of everyday life and scenes of the English countryside. In many ways, he was one of the forerunners of Romantic poetry
. Samuel Taylor Coleridge
called him "the best modern poet", whilst William Wordsworth
particularly admired his poem ''Yardley-Oak''.
He was a nephew of the poet Judith Madan
After being institutionalised for insanity in the period 1763–65, Cowper found refuge in a fervent evangelicalism|evangelical
Christianity, the inspiration behind his much-loved hymns. He continued to suffer doubt and, after a dream in 1773, believed that he was doomed to Damnation#Christianity|eternal damnation
. He recovered and wrote more religious...